Branch 908 May 2000 Newsletter

A Note From The President

In the last Newsletter I eluded to the fact that the Branch was close to obtaining the services of a well-known labor law firm. I am happy to report that the law firm of Weissman & Mintz and Branch 908 have entered into a fee-for-hire agreement. Within the firm, attorney Mark Rosenbaum will be assigned to the Branch to counsel and practice in front of the National Labor Relations Board. Mr Rosenbaum was former counsel to the Federal Labor Relations Authority in Washington and Administrator of Labor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The addition of this firm gives the Branch another valuable legal avenue to protect members rights while not costing a cent unless we use them. We are actively seeking other law firms with specific areas of Federal Law expertise to enter into similar agreements. I will keep you informed of any progress.
In Unionism: Stephen J Lipski

Next Meeting - May 17

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be on Wednesday, May 17, 8p.m. Regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, except for the months of July & August.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meeting - May 10

The Branch Officers and Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of officers at 7:30p.m., and the Executive Board at 8p.m. The next meeting of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, May 10.

Attendance Prize Still At $250

Had he been there, E P Viehwer Jr, a member of the Branch working out of Glassboro, would have been the recipient of the $250 attendance prize. The attendance prize now stands at $250 and will remain at that figure until someone in attendance at a regular monthly Branch meeting wins it; Branch Officers and Shop Stewards not included.

Carrying Flat Mail On Your Arm

"The current instructions contained in Part 321.3 if the M-41 Handbook are controlling. It is not a requirement for a carrier on a foot route to carry 4 inches of flats on his arm while delivering mail. Carriers may opt to carry flats on their arm, unless instructed not to do so, as part of their daily routine, provided there is no loss in carrier efficiency. However, management may reasonably expect the carrier to perform his duties and travel his route during route inspections in the same manner as he/she does throughout the year." (Step 4 grievance decision HIN-5C-C-1155, Union City, CA)

Three Bundle Limitation Still Applies

On all park & loop and foot routes, whether they are in a DPS environment, the three-bundle system still applies, i.e., unless the carrier volunteers the carrier cannot be required to carry more than three bundles of mail. This limit on the number of bundles applies on all days, even when a detached addressed label (unaddressed flat) mailing is not present. Therefore on those days a carrier serving a park & loop or foot route can be required to carry a (separate) third bundle of mail, e.g., a sequenced letter mailing. Carriers serving on routes other than park & loop and foot, e.g., curbline and dismount routes, are not affected by a limitation on the number of bundles of mail that can be carried.. (3/17/00 memo from USPS Vice President, Delivery)

Alternate Dispute Resolution System

According to the May, 2000 issue of the NALC Postal Record, Vice President Bill Young's article, page 28, what remains unfinished in the National Agreement is an agreement on changes to Articles 15 and 16, and the parties continue to meet at the National Level on these issues. Since March 1998, the parties have been experimenting with an alternate dispute resolution (ADR) system designed to both speed up grievance processing and reduce the number of grievances. The system enables one union official and one management official to resolve grievances together using a jointly developed Joint Contract Administration Manual (JCAM) as the basis for making decisions. Young is convinced that the Alternate Dispute Resolution System is the way to go.

In Memoriam

It was with profound sorrow and regret that the National Association of Letter Carriers notified the nation that NALC Vice President A P "Tony" Martinez succumbed to illness and that former Vice President Tony Huerta died on April 18.
Tony Huerta had a long and distinguished career working on behalf of letter carriers. He was a tireless fighter for the rights of NALC members for more than four decades and continued his struggle to help them to his final days. All letter carriers have benefited from his leadership and dedication over the years. He was a good friend of Branch 908.
Tony Martinez, age 52, was in his first term as National Vice President and his passing is a great loss to all members of the NALC, especially hard because of the bright spirit, enthusiasm, and intelligence that he exhibited in the short time he was a National Resident Officer at NALC headquarters.

Shelly Williams Of Cherry Hill Branch 6311 Appointed NALC Regional Administrative Assistant

This Branch wishes the best to Shelly Williams of Cherry Hill NALC Branch 6311 who was recently appointed Administrative Assistant to National Business Agent Tim O'Malley. Shelly has held the positions of President and Secretary Treasurer of Branch 6311, and he has served as an NALC arbitration advocate and employee involvement facilitator. Shelly's position is in addition to the one held by Bill Lucini, also an Administrative Assistant to Tim O'Malley.

Branch Awards Presented

Branch awards were presented to the following members at our annual retirees and Branch Awards Buffet on Sunday, April 9, in the presence of our National Business Agent Tim O'Malley, his assistant Bill Lucini and close to 100 people who attended to honor this year's retirees:
Bob Stoltz
Jack Bittner
Larry Seitz
Bob Stoltz
, our immediate past Branch President, was presented with a travel agency gift certificate purchased by the Branch for his outstanding leadership, knowledge and expertise as Branch President.
Jack Bittner, Shop Steward extraordinaire, and Chairperson of the Branch Board of Trustees, was presented with a certificate and a monetary token of appreciation for his years as a dedicated member, Shop Steward and Branch Officer.
Larry Seitz, a Branch member working out of the Penns Grove office, was presented with a certificate and a monetary token of appreciation from the Branch for his valiant efforts in possibly saving the life of a customer on his route who had fallen in his home and was unable to make contact with anyone until Seitz's curiosity discovered the customer's predicament when he was delivering mail to the customer's home.

Thank You, Officers & Members Of Branch 908

"We would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to the officers and members of Branch 908 for their thoughtful and generous gift at the retiree's annual brunch on April 9. Rest assured that it will be put to good use."
Appreciatively yours,
Bob & Hope Stoltz

Post Office Named After Slain Carrier

President Clinton signed a bill on April 14 renaming a post office in Chino Hills, California in honor of letter carrier Joseph Ileto who was gunned down by a white supremacist last August as he delivered mail in Chatsworth. The post office is located near the Ileto home

Branch Fishing Trip - August 20

The annual Branch fishing trip will be held this year on Sunday, August 20. Contact Bill Baitinger for further details.

Branch Picnic - September 10

The annual Branch Picnic will be held this year on Sunday, September 10, at Clementon Lake Park. Contact Bill Baitinger for further details.

Branch Scholarship Drawing
June 21

The Branch provides for an annual chance-of-the-draw scholarship award of $2000, $500 per year for 4 years attendance at an accredited college or vocational school for the children, grand-children, or step-children (living with the member) and/or the adopted children of active or retired members of the Branch. The drawing takes place at the regular monthly meeting on June 21. For applications, contact Joe Walder.

8th Annual NALC Food Drive
Saturday, May 13 - Retirees Help Would Be Appreciated

The 8th annual NALC Food Drive is scheduled for Saturday, May 13 in partnership with the AFL-CIO, the US Postal Service and the United Way. Letter carriers will pick up non-perishable food items left next to residential mailboxes. Assistance is needed at all the Post Office hubs to sort and load the food onto trailers for transportation to food banks. Retirees, if you can help, contact Chairman Steve Rutkowski

Committee On Letter Carriers Political Education

Letter carriers have a most important election that confronts them this year. For the last eight years letter carriers and their families have enjoyed the security of a friendly White House which insured that attacks on our benefits did not materialize despite a Congress that did not have the interest of working men and women motivating their agenda.
This year, we must assure that our friends are elected to the White House and Congress so that they may continue to protect us from any attempted attacks. The retired letter carriers of Branch 908 understand this and have continually supported NALC's effort with generous COLCPE contributions. A research of Branch 908 COLCPE donations made by NALC Vice President Bill Young shows that over the last five years Branch 908 retirees are carrying the active members:
              Year          Active          Total          Retiree          Total
              1995           11             $486             36             $1140
              1996           17             $531             33             $1186
              1997           11             $391             30             $1000
              1998           16             $555             37             $1525
              1999           12             $445             26             $840

Therefore, I am asking the Branch retirees to dig deeper this year and challenge the active letter carriers of Branch 908 to step up to the plate with their fair share of COLCPE donations.
Norm Task
Branch COLCPE Chairman

Cardinal O'Connor - A Union Family Man

Cardinal John O'Connor, the oldest active bishop in the United States and one of the Country's most influential Catholics, died on Wednesday, May 3, in New York City. He was 80. It is reported that his father was a Union painter, and that the Cardinal desired that he be buried in a Union made casket.

Branch Death Benefits

Effective January 1, 1991, a death benefit fund, at no charge to the member, was established to benefit the families of all active and retired members of the Branch upon their demise. The benefit now stands at $250, and will be paid the beneficiary of record of the deceased active or retired Branch member upon the Branch's receipt of the copy of a death certificate and evidence of record showing beneficiary status.

How To Tell If It's Union Made In The USA

The simplest and quickest way to tell if a new car, light truck or van is union made in the US is the "parts content information" sheet that usually is posted on a window. It lists, among other things, the location of the "final assembly point" of each vehicle. Secondly, check the VIN number stamped on a small metal plate attached to each vehicle's dashboard on the driver's side, often near the junction of the dashboard and the windshield. If the first character of the 17-character VIN is 1 or 4, the vehicle was assembled in the US.

Other Scholarships Available

Donna Villec reports that the Burlington County Central Labor Union AFL-CIO awards 2 $750 scholarships annually for which the membership of Branch 908 is eligible to qualify for. Contact Donna Villec for full particulars.

Attention All Members
Items for publication in the Branch Newsletter must be submitted in writing to the editors no later than the 1st of the month.